Windermere Community Service Day is right around the corner. On June 7th, 2019 we’ll be working at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. In our 19th year volunteering for this great organization, we will be cleaning, gardening, and painting and anything else the center needs us to do. Little Bit improves the bodies, minds, and spirits of children and adults with disabilities through equine assisted therapies and activities. They’re an inspiration and educational resource to the therapeutic riding profession regionally and nationally. We’re proud to volunteer our time to such a vital organization that serves the Eastside communityand beyond.
Every year since 1984, Windermere associates have dedicated a day of work to complete neighborhood and community improvement projects as part of Windermere’s Community Service Day. Creating vibrant communities is one of the things that inspire us at Windermere. Giving back and supporting vibrant communities we work and live in is important to us. After all, real estate is rooted on our communities. And an investment in our neighborhood gives us all a place to call home.
April brought good news for homebuyers. Inventory increased, prices continued to moderate and mortgage rates remained low. While buyers have more choices, there is still less than two months of inventory on the market. Demand is expected to remain strong as we head into the prime spring real estate season.
The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $927,500 in April, down 2% from the same time last year. The economy here remains robust, particularly in the tech sector. After snapping up substantial real estate in Bellevue earlier this year, Amazon announced in April it would lease two more towers. Buyer demand and scarce inventory are keeping the Eastside market competitive.
With the number of homes for sale in King County up 78% over last year, buyers have more choices and a bit more time to make a decision. However, there is still less than two months of inventory, half the national average. The median price of a single-family home in April was $690,000. That figure was down 5% from the same time last year, but up from the $677,725 median price in March.
With one of the strongest economies in the nation, demand here remains solid. While the number of homes for sale continued to rise, there is just five weeks of available inventory, far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle hit $754,000 in April, down 8% from a year ago and up slightly from the prior month.
In Snohomish County, the median price of a single-family home fell by 1% from a year ago to $500,000, the same figure posted in March. A 57% increase in inventory combined with low interest rates have created a strong beginning to the spring market.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
The Spring Market is off to a busier than normal start as April closings have closed the gap from the slower than usual 1st quarter of the year. Multiple offers were up to 28% of all transactions from 24% in March and Pending transactions in April were extremely strong which should bring this year’s sales more in line with 2018’s numbers. Well positioned homes are seeing extraordinary interest while the 30 year fixed hovers around 4%.
On May 4 the Montlake Cut will play host once again to the Windermere Cup rowing regatta. For the past 33 years, Windermere Real Estate and the University of Washington have joined together to host this event, which brings the world’s best crews to Seattle to compete against the perennially acclaimed UW men’s and women’s teams. Held annually on the first Saturday in May, the Windermere Cup is both an international sporting event and opening day party. The races are followed by the world’s largest boat parade which is put on by the Seattle Yacht Club.
The UW men will go up against one of the oldest programs in rowing, Boston University, and the German National Federation, who is the current World Champion after taking gold in the 2018 World Championship. This is the first time in the Windermere Cup’s 33 year history that the Germans have competed in this regatta. Both will oppose a Washington men’s crew that has been a dominant program in the United States for several decades and came second in last year’s national championship.
The UW women, who also came in second at the 2018 NCAA Championship, will be opposed by the UCLA Bruins who have been a consistent national competitor in the last four NCAA Championships and the German National Federation women’s team, who have rowed in the A final of the eight competition in the past three Under-23 World Championships.
In addition to the 24 crew races throughout the morning, the family-friendly Windermere Cup event also includes food vendors, booths to purchase UW and Windermere Cup apparel and commemorative gear, as well as a bouncy house for the kids and a selfie stand by Snap Bar. The crew races start at 10:15 am and end around noon, followed by the Opening Day Boat Parade.
Windermere Party on the Cut: Boats Brats Beers Bands
In honor of the German National Crews visiting Seattle to race in the Cup races, we’ll be celebrating German-style. So break out your lederhosen and dirndls and come on out to the party! This year’s pre-race Party on the Cut will take place Friday, May 3rd, from 6 PM to 10 PM. Join us on the northeast shore of the Montlake Cut for an evening of live music, lawn games, and food and drinks. Advance tickets are just $20, or $30 at the door. This year features live performances by Nite Wave and Brian DiJulio & the Love Jacks. This event is 21+ and tickets can be found throughBrown Paper Tickets.
For more information please visit windermerecup.com and follow us at Facebook.com/WindermereCup, @WindermereCup on Twitter, and @Windermere on Instagram. Share your excitement and your day-of experience by including the official hashtag: #WindermereCup2019.
The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.
Washington State employment slowed to an annual growth rate of 1.7% — a level not seen since 2012 — and continues a trend of slowing that started in the summer of 2018. I was a little surprised to see such a significant drop in employment growth, but it may be due to the state re-benchmarking their data (which they do annually). As such, I am not overly concerned about the lower-than-expected numbers but will be watching to see if this trend continues as we move through the spring months. The state unemployment rate was 4.5%, marginally below the 4.6% level a year ago.
My latest economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will be positive but is expected to slow. We should see an additional 84,000 new jobs, which would be a year-over-year increase of 2.2%.
- There were 13,292 home sales during the first quarter of 2019. Year-over-year, sales were down 12.3% and were 23.4% lower than the fourth quarter of 2018.
- It is quite likely that part of the slowdown can be attributed to the very poor weather in February. That said, anecdotal information from our brokers suggests that March was a very active month and I expect to see sales rise again through the spring selling season. Notably, pending home sales were only off by 3.5% from the first quarter of 2018.
- All counties contained in this report saw sales drop when compared to a year ago. The greatest drops were in the relatively small counties of San Juan, Clallam, Island, and Kitsap.
- The decline in interest rates during the first two months of the quarter nudged many home buyers off the fence. I believe this will cause a significant bump in sales activity in the second quarter numbers.
- In combination with the factors discussed earlier, the 40% increase in listings has caused home price growth to taper to a year-over-year increase of 3.3%.
- Home prices were higher in every county except Clallam. While the growth of prices is slowing, the strong local economy, combined with lower interest rates, will cause home prices to continue rising through 2019.
- When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in San Juan County, where home prices were up 36.4%. Only one other county experienced a double-digit price increase.
- As I have said for quite some time now, there must always be a relationship between incomes and home prices, and many areas around Western Washington are testing this ceiling. That said, the region’s economy continues to perform well and incomes are rising, which, in concert with low interest rates, will allow prices to continue to rise but at a significantly slower pace.
DAYS ON MARKET
- The average number of days it took to sell a home matched the same quarter of 2018.
- Pierce County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 40 days to sell. There were seven counties that saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in seven counties and one was unchanged.
- Across the entire region, it took an average of 61 days to sell a home in the first quarter of 2019. This matches the level seen a year ago but is up by 10 days when compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.
- In the last two Gardner Reports, I suggested that we should be prepared for days-on-market to increase, and that is now occurring. Given projected increases in inventory, this trend will continue, but this is typical of a regional market that is moving back toward balance.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am again moving the needle toward buyers as price growth moderates and listing inventory continues to rise.
I do not see any clouds on the horizon that suggest we will see a downturn in sales activity in 2019. That said, this will be the year we move closer to balance. Buyers who were sidelined by the significant increase in listings in the second half of 2018 are starting to get off the fence as mortgage rates drop. I foresee a buoyant spring market ahead.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.